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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  June 18, 2015 1:30am-2:01am EDT

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are taking steps to encourage more women to work in gaming, and that their goal is having those that create the games better reflect those that play them. and a reminder, you can keep up to date with all the news on the website. there it is on the screen. the address aljazeera.com. could wipe bias out of your mind while you sleep. but be careful what you wish for. plus greece in times of tragedy. talks are going nowhere, fast. this is your brain on bias,
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unconscious bias, it looks normal but scientists say many of our brains are packed with unconscious subconscious negative views of women and minorities. negative views are often formed by years of exposure to cultural stereotypes or facts in the media. consciously, many of us find thee views deplorable and many of us believe that biases take up any space in their mind. guess again. unconscious bias is how we do with information overload. the human brain stores 11 billion items but we can only process so much at a time. unleashed outside the brain those shortcuts can lead to discrimination. some people suspect that unconscious bias played a role in the deaths of michael brown in ferguson, missouri and eric garner in new york. those are two of the recent
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cases of unarmed black men dying with encounters with white police officers and they have sparked responses to combat bias in law enforcement. but it's not just cops who play victim. in march, jake ward told us about a u.c. berkeley research. >> the research shows that, not deciding to shoot an unarmed white man sooner and more frequently than aa black man. >> the question is what can be done by unconscious bias? after all it's unconscious. google trained and hired managers to be more aware of the issue. but the work is still out, a new study at northwestern university
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is taking the idea of conquering unconscious bias one step further. the research shows that it is possible to reduce biases while a person sleeps. but the experiment has alarmed some ethicists. they question whether science designed to change your mind while you sleep could be abused. in a neuroscience lab in northwestern university in evanston illinois , will discover whether leonardo can be set up to have biases. all leonardo has been told is he's there for a sleep study. >> go ahead and follow the instructions on the screen and when you're ready you can press c-4.
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>> this replicated experiment is taking place for our cameras but if the results are in line with the findings of 40 previous test subjects it will show that unconscious bias can be reduced during sleep. >> a bias can be shot of as a shortcut actually. >> we all have uncons biases, according to -- unconscious biases, according to the director at northwestern. >> when you meet someone new you don't know them yet. you might use biases, as shortcuts. the question is when do those shortcuts get us into trouble? once we democrat a social bias in everyone, we take steps to reduce the bias. >> the first step, the steps to uncover an unconscious bias. or i afortt is that there's no time -- or iat is there's no
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time to think about the politically correct answer. >> this requires rapid responses using buttons on a keyboard in response to faces and words. >> people are a lot better associating black faces and a good word than they would be associating a white face and a good word. >> actually smaller gender biases than the norm. next step, positive reinforcement to unlearn bias. >> if that face and word is a black face and a good word you'll press the space bar. you'll get some sound as feed bark that says you did a good job. >> that sound is a vital part of the experiment. this chime is paired with positive racial images. this is tied to gender. ♪ >> we wanted to influence one bias during sleep and leave the other one alone as a comparison so we could find out how
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effective our sleep manipulation was. >> in leonardo's case, the chime paired with positive racial images, the idea of sleep manipulation makes some edgy about neuroscience discoveries creeping beyond the lab. >> there are a number of different neuroethical issues that may be generated by studies like this. most fundamental is are we practicing some form of mind control? i think the quickest answer is well yes. >> james giordano is the head of neuroethics at northwestern. >> it is very exciting because it opens up some new vistas, affecting positive construct such as bias but the same could be used as a potential tool to develop the type of control of thought and activities that could be used by a terrorist organization or some other subversive
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cause. >> professor acknowledges the ethical issues. >> there are some issues that people don't know they're getting. however it's important to think through, and the training is done during waking. sleep isn't automatically having an effect without the training having happened first. >> back at the lab leonardo, like many sleep deprived students has no trouble falling into deep slumber during the day. the barely audible sound associated with positive racial images is embedded into white noise and piped into the room. researchers monitor leonardo's rem stages. an hour and a half later, nap time is over. >> if you want to take the electrodes off your chin. >> leonardo is tested
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once more to determine if his racial bias was reduced after his suggestive sleep session and then a moment of truth. >> what we were like to see from the last test was whether you had a reduction in your bias for that particularly iap disassociation test but not the other one with the women and science. even though you had a very small bias to begin with we saw that you did get that boost. >> it was really interesting. i had no idea exactly what i was going to get into. and then there was really a nap halfway through so that was pretty cool. as far as results i didn't even hear a sound when i was asleep. >> so he had a smaller bias in the end for racial bias which is what we cued that be for the gender bias which we didn't cue. >> hold but slightly diminished
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when their subjects were tested a week later. >> how are people behaving who are in positions of authority like the police and judges? >> the larger issue becomes how do we develop policies to steer and govern the way these techniques are governed, what's done is we've scraped the surface of the proverbial iceberg. >> either we have scraped the surfacing or gone nuts. the idea is fascinating but to some is fascinating. what else could people do to my brain while i'm sleeping? i'm going to put that question to one of the researchers right after this break. >> shot dead and the government does nothing. >> they teach you how to eliminate people? >> ya. >> we've done it and that is why we are there. >> my life is in danger.
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racial bias, but the northwestern university experiment has alarmed some ethnickists who question whether brain manipulation during sleep could be abused. joining us from chicago is northwestern researcher susan floorsack. sounds great for people who want to reduce their unconscious bias. we're in a world where we're still argue whether there is unconscious bias. what do we say to people who fear that this comes across as mind control which can be used to increase someone's bias? >> i want to clarify a small point before speaking. what we're doing during sleep is actually reactivating previous learned information. >> okay. >> so people are going through this training while awake while conscious of what they're doing.
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we've done these studies before with different types of information, spatial memory, memory for vocabulary words. these are for the antibias training sessions. >> let me be sure, you are reinforcing something that people have learned while awake. ali went to sleep and let's put notions in his head, it's not that? >> correct. through the use of those sounds that you heard accompanying those training sessions before, what it's doing is taking the brain, putting it in a state where memories can become stabilized and what we are doing is cueing the memories we would like to undergo that process of stabilization. the participant would be reminded of that festival study experience. if they were feeling during that study session that they had disagreements, that they were content, that they were angry those were all emotions that
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would accompany that reactivation during sleep. what we are doing is pulling that previous wake episode to mind. >> i know in the line of work you're in you plus have these ethical conversation theation we s that we just touched on. but some of the terrible things that happen in our society are born of willing participants. these unconscious biases of which we speak often come from fact. they come from things we read in the media, they come from stories that we hear. so there is -- how do you deal, what is the potential danger of this being used for bad things? >> i think that just like you spoke about, there are dangerous things that pop up all the time. and this process of stabilization happens all the sometime. and it happens spontaneously. and it happens with memories that we don't know about. and so those are all, all of those images that you just spoke of are all things that might become stabilized during sleep.
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we are just looking at that process of stabilization in a more controlled way. >> who do you see -- what is the practical application you see for this? i'll give you examples. is it an application that someone convicted of a hate crime should go through, is it mandatory training for police, is it like for a kid we had in our story that we find out has some biases and fix them. where do you see this going? >> that's a good question. we are just scraping the surface of possibilities of where we could go with this. where it does require intentional learning, we need the participant to be engaged in a way that they want to be changing, otherwise they would be bringing to mind all of those things that they disagreed with at the same time as the sleep process was happening. and so for judges, who you know i would hope we would all hope would want to be as unbiased as possible, if they went into a
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training like this, with you know a wholehearted intention to have that be improved, i would think that it would be something that could be improved through them. again though, if it was somebody that did not want this to work for them i don't believe that it would. >> how do you come to an disagreement on what a bias is? we have certain biases that help us that protect us. i have a bias against walking in front of a truck because i suspect it will be injurious to my health. what is a good bias and what's a bad bias? if the evidence says x does this, let's talk about we know this kind of thing has been used in terms of trying convert homosexuals into a heterosexual life somebody decided that's good. >> you know i think that those are really all importantly questions to have and conversations to have. as we're a memory group we're most interested in exactly how this relates to memory and to learning episodes but for ethicists for the community at large for everyone to be
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involved in that conversation of what would be a good amount of bias or healthy amount of bias, would be a good conversation to have. >> seurch goosusan, good convero have. up next, greece is out of money and nearly out of time. protests that broke out in athens, grease is warning it may be forced to abandon the euro zone, but that may be its best option. >> comedy great, richard lewis >> i really am in love with the craft... >> turning an angst ridden and neurotic outlook... >> i have to un-ravel myself on stage as fearlessly as possible >> into an award winning career... from hell? >> it's thrilling when it's working.... >> every tuesday night. >> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers.
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>> we will be able to see change. >> gripping. inspiring. entertaining. talk to al jazeera. only on al jazeera america. >> brittany menard's decision to take her own life last year. sparked a national debate. >> brittany didn't wan't to die, the brain tumor was killing her, she simply took control over how that process would go. >> now see what her husband is doing to keep his promise to change "right to die" laws nationwide. america tonight only on al jazeera america.
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fading fast. greek priems alexis tsipras says demand by greece's debtors are incomprehensible. even the european union, if it fails to reach a bailout deal. the tough stance by creditors without a deal greece will not be able to make its debt payment its next one, $1.8 billion, due on june 30th. the deadlock is over austerity measures. lenders are demanding steep spending cuts and tax heights but greece says it can't absorb more pain. as you recall i recently visited greece to see the situation firsthand to find out just how the country got to this poifnt. point. it's a little after 11:00 p.m. on a saturday night in the central neighborhood of
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gazi athens where few would believe that anyone in greece is suffering from austerity or a five year recession. >> in 2011 we started feeling downhill. it went very bad in 12, 12 was the bottom. the business isn't anything like it used to be. talking 50 to 70% down. >> the greek government had been spending on a spending spree lealeading up to the 2004 olympic games. it spent for stadiums and a metro system. the deficit as a percentage of gdp would be double what was allowed by the euro zone. greece was the first eu country to be placed under monitoring by the european commission. but in 2009,
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greece's newly elected prime minister george papandr ndreu, said that gross's be deficit had grown to $6 billion. the radical left syriza party promised to end the austerity greece was suffering from. the slinking of the public services contributed to a drastic increase in poverty and reduction in the standard of living. greece's greece's taxes have increased and the travel burden on the
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poor increased by 337% while the rich only saw an increase of 9%. the prime minister has promised to end what he has called the pillaging of the middle class, ruled out taxes on food and medicines but some are wondering whether this government is going to be able to keep its promises. prime minister alexis tsipras has promised to deal with the tax evaiks problems. the form he head of greece's tax authority, says evasion won't end until greeks see their tax payments put to work for public good. >> we have also chronic underperformance of the public sector, agents for government do not work and do not provide services that people in a modern western country expect. everyone
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rationalizes not paying taxes. >> when you count the recent influx of immigrant about 3 million are unemployed. and some of this country's brightest professionals have been leaving. ronia antinopoulous is tasked with fighting unemployment. she says, the government needs to create jobs through a public works administration program. reminiscent of america's new deal policies during the american depression. >> we have 300,000 households with no single adult working, 50% of the population living under very, very -- under stress. some of them are in poverty already, some of them are at risk of poverty and some of them are right, right in between. >> so clearly greece is in a
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tough spot and a tired population is bracing for worst regardless of the outcome of the negotiations. but not everyone is convinced that a default is the worst thing for greece and for greeks. wolfgang munchow says greece has nothing to lose by skipping debt payment and leaving the euro zone. he joins me from oxford , england. wolfgang, i couldn't agree with you less on this one. you said leaving the euro zone would only cause temporary pain for greece. but the government would have to circulate a new currency. it would immediately depreciate against the euro, you would not be able to get no loans, the s&p says even the ledge utility the
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state owned ppc would go bankrupt. how do you say they have nothing to lose? >> the way this is going to work now, greece has a choice, the choice between accepting the current offer and not accepting the current offer, that's the real choice. if they accept the current offer they would have to increase their savings. if you base it on the way fiscal savings affect the gdp and the way gdp affected the fiscal stance, if you do the math what happened in the last few years you come to another you know fall in gdp of 12%. in other words another four years of depression. on top of the six years of depression they had already. so you have ten years of depression. no one is going osurvive that. no government is going to survive that, no society is going to survive that so this is simply not a viable option. i'm not in favor of grekzit, to
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be absolutely clear. big short term shock but like anything it will be over. after a year, two years they will have ended it, if that was the choice between greksit and normal. that is not possible if they accept the deal. >> i agree with you from my visit to greece that it's very hard for them to find a growth road out of it. we call certain countries developing countries. which is a euphemism we used to call them third world countries. the concept of developing means they're moving in a direction towards greater development. but greece doesn't look like a road that gets it to further development. without the strayed that would come, without the foreign investment that would come with being in the euro, with the flight of capital wealthy people who change their money to dollars and leave greece or keep it in euros and leave greece how
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would greece even develop how would it develop? >> i think the outlook is quite wrong, people who make these arguments, think they're good. that nobody goes into greece, nobody invests in greece everyone fears they'll default devalue or get out of the euro zone. there's zero investment into greece. again the best zeal with them would be the creditors, debt relief, fiscal rormt reforms tht combination would work, but if that is not an offer they would be better off threefg euro zone. after leaving the euro zone, many of the risks that deter those would be over. you would no longer be afraid of leaving it, they have done it already. once they defaulted, you wouldn't be afraid of defaulting because they've just done it.
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but at the moment you would do nothing. many people here in the west in northern europe and the united states, fine whatever they give you sign it stay the money. but that would mean that people would continue to speculate, you and i would be having that confidence in three months time again and no one would invest in the meantime the economy will shrink and the only purpose is just to get rid of the government. that can only be the strategy and that's how many greeks see this. this whole idea of refusing debt relief is just intended to put pressure on the greek government and basically to destroy it. >> wolfgang, thank you for joining us, associate editor of the financial times joining us from oxford. "on target" tomorrow. when cops deploy deadly force they could also reveal much more than you bargained for. >> lot of times people don't see
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the camera, it's very small. >> police officers go into people's homes. >> jury neighbor wants to see the video. does your neighbor have a right to see what took place in your house? >> that's our show for today, i'm ali velshi, thank you for joining us. reopened the debate about the right o carry guns on challenge campuses if someone nearby had been armed, the thing goes, lives might have been saved. texas has become the latest in a roster of states opening public college campuses to students and others legally packing heat. firearms on campus is

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